Aetna Earnings Per Share Jump 63%

Insurance giant Aetna (AET) reported a 63% jump in earnings per share for the third quarter.

The company reported earnings per share of $1.19, up from 73 cents per share a year earlier, Aetna said in a statement.

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The company attributed the jump in earnings to a higher commercial underwriting margin. Revenue dropped 3% from a year earlier to $8.46 billion.

"Aetna's third-quarter results reinforce our significant performance improvement in 2010 after an unusually weak 2009," said CEO Ronald A. Williams. "Our strong operating results were driven by a reduction in utilization of health care services after the surge we saw in 2009, combined with appropriate pricing and effective medical quality and cost management."

The company forecast full-year operating earnings of $3.60 per share.

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